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Orthopedic Coding Alert

READER QUESTIONS:

Limit 63276 to Posterior Side

Question: Can we report 63276 for each laminectomy level that the surgeon addresses? Also, does this code refer to posterior procedures, anterior surgeries, or both anterior and posterior laminectomies?


New Jersey Subscriber
Answer: You should report 63276 (Laminectomy for biopsy/excision of intraspinal neoplasm; extradural, thoracic) once per region.
 
Therefore, if the surgeon performed the surgery on two levels in the thoracic region, you should code just one unit of 63276.

If she addresses two levels in the thoracic region and one level in the lumbar region, you can bill both 63276 and 63277 (Laminectomy for biopsy/excision of intraspinal neoplasm; extradural, lumbar).

Good news: You do not need to add a modifier to either code, because the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) does not bundle either of these laminectomy codes into the other.

To answer your second question, laminectomy codes always refer to posterior procedures because you cannot access the laminae anteriorly. Therefore, 63276 does not refer to anterior surgeries. You Be the Coder and Reader Questions were reviewed by Heidi Stout, CPC, CCS-P, coding and reimbursement manager at UMDNJ-RWJ University Orthopaedic Group in New Brunswick, N.J.; and Bill Mallon, MD, orthopedic surgeon and medical director at Triangle Orthopaedic Associates in Durham, N.C.


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